How an ESA can help with unexpected home repairs

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Kara Robinson
November 30, 2021

An Emergency Savings Account (ESA) prepares you for the unexpected

Key takeaways:

  • Home repairs can lead to unexpected expenses.
  • If you don't have savings, you may not be able to deal with the required repairs.
  • Ignoring broken or damaged items can cause more damage and liability issues.
  • Home repairs average around $200, but they can cost thousands depending on the issue.
  • An Emergency Savings Account prepares you for the unexpected and helps to reduce stress levels.

When something breaks down in your home, you need to repair it quickly if you want to avoid additional damage and keep your dwelling functioning properly. A rule of thumb is that homeowners should set aside 1 to 3% of their home’s purchase price every year for repairs. In 2020, for example, the average household spent $13,138 on emergency home repairs.

Paying for unexpected repairs can be very difficult if you don't have cash savings on hand. An Emergency Savings Account (ESA) will help you save money out of your paycheck every pay period so that you can build up cash reserves to take care of common emergencies like home repairs. 

Saving money can be hard, but the process is made easier if the money is simply taken out of your paycheck and stored before you ever see it. An ESA makes that possible and it puts you in the position to take care of expenses like home repairs without a lot of stress.  To help you understand the importance of having savings on hand, this guide looks at the cost of some of the most common home repairs and how having an ESA can help. 


A hole in the roof cannot be ignored because it can cause extensive damage to your home. For example, rain can get into a small hole and lead to damage throughout your joists and the rest of your home's structure. The water can also compromise the safety of electrical wirings or damage walls, carpets, or other finished parts of the home. 

It can be tempting to ignore a roof repair because the average cost of it is $652 and repairs can range from $150 to $1,950. Even just hiring an inspector to assess the situation can cost between $75 and $700 with an average of $224. You may be able to rely on your homeowner's insurance if the damage is from hail or another covered event, but in that situation, you still have to come up with the deductible. 

Broken window

A broken window can also be extremely problematic, and the cost of fixing window glass ranges from $100 to $600, with the average cost at $248. When you have the funds on hand, taking care of this issue is pretty straightforward, but if you don't have savings, a baseball through the window can be absolutely disastrous. 

Broken appliances

If your appliances break down, you may not be able to wash your clothes, cook dinner, or keep food preserved. Going to the laundromat, not being able to use your oven, or losing all the food in your fridge can be expensive, and on top of that, you may have to pay for a new appliance. 

The last thing you want is a broken fridge or laundry machine. You and your family will suffer until these appliances are fixed. Repairing a broken appliance can cost a few hundred dollars, but if you have to buy new appliances, you may be on the hook for well over a thousand. 

Broken garage door

If your garage door isn't working properly, you can’t get in and out easily – in some cases, you might even have a vehicle stuck in your garage until the repair person can come to your home. 

Even if your car isn't stuck, a broken garage door compromises the security of your home, making it easier for someone to break in. It also doesn’t stop the weather, allowing rain or snow to damage the contents of your garage. Repairing a broken garage door costs between $75 and $519, with an average of $210.

Clogged drain

A clogged drain isn't something you can ignore for long – especially if it's in the kitchen sink. If you're lucky, a chemical clog remover will fix the problem, but if you have to call a plumber, you should expect to spend an average of $194. Depending on the price of plumbing services in your area and the extent of the clog, this home repair can range from $80 to $496. 

Boiler or furnace

If you're in a cold climate, you can't live without heat, and if your furnace or boiler breaks down, you need to be able to call a repair person immediately. A furnace or boiler repair averages $267 and $350 respectively, and these repairs can range from $59 to $900. If you have to replace the whole furnace, you may face a bill that's closer to $4,000. 

AC unit 

Depending on your climate, an AC can be just as critical as a furnace, but repairing the AC ranges from $79 to $900 and costs an average of $318. If you have to replace the AC, you may need to spend between $2,000 and $10,000. 

A savings account is critical if you want to be ready to deal with these types of expenses without dipping into your retirement accounts, borrowing money from friends and relatives, or tapping into your home's equity. 

Water heater 

No one wants to take cold showers and you can't effectively clean your clothes or dishes without hot water. Unfortunately, repairing a broken water heater costs around $480 on average, but this repair can range from $100 to $1,150. 

Deck repair 

A broken deck is also not necessarily an essential repair, but if you don't address the damage as soon as possible, you risk it getting worse. Additionally, if someone gets hurt on your broken deck, you may be liable for their injuries, costing you even more in the long run. To be prepared for this home repair, you need somewhere between $300 and $3,805 in savings – the average cost of a deck repair is $1,379.

How an ESA saves you from emergency repairs 

A savings account can be a lifesaver when you need any of the above home repairs. Without one, you end up in a compromised situation which often gets worse the longer you ignore the problem. Also, when you don't have cash on hand to deal with emergencies, you get stuck living in a constant state of stress. 

Your home is your sanctuary, whether it’s a house, apartment, condo, or any other type of housing. Keeping it in good working condition is essential to yourself and your family’s comfort and its structure and health. You don’t want to get caught with a leaking roof or broken fridge you can’t afford to fix. Having an ESA is the security blanket you need to pull funds from whenever emergencies happen.  

Contact SecureSave to learn more about our employer-matched Emergency Savings Account 

At SecureSave, we help people prepare for home repairs and all the other unexpected expenses life throws at them. We cannot predict if your water heater will break down, if a hail storm will break your windows, or if your drains will get clogged, but we can help you position yourself to deal with these types of situations easily and confidently. 

At SecureSave, we offer employer-sponsored savings accounts that help you save money effortlessly right from your savings account. SecureSave makes savings for emergencies easy and rewarding.

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